Not to say all of our stock isn’t gorgeous, yet every now and then something comes in, that just takes your breath away. Last Friday this very fine quality French Rosewood and Kingwood serpentine shaped cabinet came in. It features marquetry inlaid panels and exquisite bronze mounts. The piece dates from the Napoleon III period, circa 1860. So often people ask you, how do you know the difference between an authentic antique and a reproduction. Well, here is it is. Once you see and experience enough pieces such as this one the difference becomes obvious. It’s all in the amazing attention to detail. The finishes are not at all crude but finely defined. A piece likes this screams high quality not poor imitation. It’s an absolute pleasure to stock a piece like this, albeit until it finds its true owner….
We have had a change over on the showroom floor inspired by some gorgeous wall paper that Liz and Phil picked up on their latest buying trip. Made in France by Koziel, the trompe l’oeil designs we worked with depict a padded and studded wall evoking a cosy, intimate feel, an older style brick wall and a row upon row of antique books on shelves. See for yourself and let us know what you think!
Another great example of mixed eras. Adorning the Antique Portuguese Walnut Table we have an Antique carved Deer figurine infront of a Timorese Buffalo hide shield, flanked by a pair of decorative Bovine horns.
Steve has just returned from a tour of France, and has brought back with him some beautiful photos of pieces to come. A wonderful collection with plenty of Twentieth century lighting and occasional furniture, French glass vases and Art Deco chairs.
Steve’s travels took him from top to bottom of the country and although it appears much fun was had, he assures me there was a lot of work to be done too. Included are some candid shots of his time away.
The container is due to arrive around June or July. When the shipment lands we will be changing our front shop display from the current French painted pieces to a 1960s/70s time warp! Shall keep you posted. ..
With all this gorgeous weather this summer no doubt you have all spent as much time as possible at the beach. Whether it be in your own beach house or somewhere rented. So I thought I’d gather together a few shots of inspiring pieces that would suit your beach house environment whether it be in Portsea, Queenscliff or Lorne.
One of our favourite Interior Designers Stuart Rattle is having an Open Garden Day at his private farm in Musk, just outside Daylesford. Described as “One of the best Australian gardens I have seen. It has style, botanic diversity and theatrical flair” by Rural Australian Gardens, Myles Baldwin. The handsome grounds are indeed inspiring and reflective of Stuart’s interior style. The weekend is coming up, Saturday November 19 and Sunday November 20. Tickets are $10 with proceeds going to the Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens Restoration Project. Musk Farm 11 School Road, Musk, look for the sign between Bullarto and Daylesford. Melway Ref 609 D10.
It is 37 years this week, since Liz and Phil Capocchi opened their store Second Life Décor on Main Road in Eltham. Naturally much has changed since then, and here Liz reveals a little of the evolution of the business..
What inspired you and Phil to get into the antiques trade?
We were holidaying in the Barossa Valley one Christmas many years ago, and we went to a place called the Ravens Parlour; a large barn of a place, filled to the rafters with all sorts of things antique and vintage. That evening at dinner, we were once again discussing our ideas for future directions, and starting some sort of business for ourselves, when Phillip said “..why don’t we open one of those “junk” shops like the ravens parlour”..the rest is history.
Did you ever think your business would grow this large?
We were always hopeful of climbing to the top of the tree in the antiques industry, but never really dreamt of what was possible. I think the secret to reaching the pinnacle was a slow and steady growth through the years, by nature we are not risk takers and on that foundation we have built a strong business that is ready to pass onto the next generation.
What individual talents do you and Phil bring into the business?
We are very lucky in that our talents are largely complimentary. Phillip is fabulous at sourcing stock, organising the restoration and getting the product to our showroom ready for sale. And with my logical thinking, I look after the admin, staff, and displays in the shop. The displays in store reflect my natural inclination toward interior design.
How has your business changed in the last 37 years?
When we first started we essentially sold Australiana, brass beds, stoneware, a little jewellery, silverware and the odd American clock. Essentially it was an economic way for people to furnish as these items were very inexpensive. A few years after we opened our first store, this stock was becoming more difficult to find because Australia is such a young country and had only a small population in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Consequently the goods we were selling were never manufactured in great quantities. This paved the way for our first trip to the UK and we became importers of regular containers from England. Some 25 years ago our European backgrounds led us to France and beyond and the love affair with all things Continental started. During the first two decades we concentrated largely on beautiful quality objects and furniture from the 19th century, which has now broadened into still mainly European items from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. We particularly appreciate some of the more modern design that came out of the 50s and 60s. With such a broad spectrum to our stock our buying trips are more enjoyable as we can purchase any thing we like regardless of age.
Whats popular in the store at the moment?
Anything that is useful and functional in our modern lives and items that have been given a new identity. A great example is our European leather upholstered gym mats which people now use as coffee tables in their family living rooms.
Where do you see antiques going in the future?
Tastes appear to becoming more eclectic with individual pieces being very desirable; the combination of the old and the new will be an ongoing phenomenon, such as we have just witnessed with our Bromley collaboration. I believe that our clients are looking for comfort and versatility rather than the stiff formal interiors of the last century.
Any tips for those wanting to start buying antiques?
Speak to people that you trust and are comfortable with, buy with your heart and not with your head. Create a relationship with a dealer who understands what you are trying to achieve. Come and see us at Capocchi!
Sucessful interior stylist Glen Proebstel has just launched his new website and blog, where a fascinating collection of work is displayed. Included amongst these promotional shots are many pieces from our showroom, which Proebstel often frequents looking for curiosities. Below is a shot from the latest edition of Inside Out magazine utitilising our David Bromley upholstered French Antique bed.
Melbourne winter has already started before the official date and cosy afternoons beside the fire place are already the best place to be. At Capocchi we have a gorgeous selection of fireside accessories from fenders to fire screens. See our website for more details.
And in keeping with an Autumn/Winter theme. A gorgeous Art Nouveau copper fire place of ours has been used in the front window of Hemden of Armadale. Being master shirt makers and tailors they obviously have impeccable taste. The fire place looks fabulous in the display, scattered with colourful leaves, and adorned with all the accessories a fellow could need on a cold winters day.